Blast from the Past: Art of the 1960s

Exhibit Preview
Pop Art
Abstract Expressionism
Figurative Expressionism
Color Field Painting
Geometric Abstraction
Op Art

Geometric Abstraction

Ilya Bolotowsky Ellsworth Kelly
 Ilya Bolotowsky
(American, 1907-1981)
Sombre Diamond, 1963-68
Acrylic on canvas, 42 x 42 inches
Gift of the artist, 69.429
Ellsworth Kelly
(American, born 1923)
Blue and Orange on Yellow, 1964
Lithograph, 17 x 23 inches
MSU purchase, 67.11

The flip side of Color Field was hard-edged geometric painting by Josef Albers, Ilya Bolotowsky, Fritz Glarner, and Ellsworth Kelly. Like Mondrian’s work, and partly derived from it, this painting was relational, meaning its internal planes and lines comprised a structure of related parts. Their relative sizes indicated their place in the picture place, either closer to the viewer or further away, and their colors worked against each other, sometimes in an optically stimulating way. Part of a younger generation than the others here, Kelly took a more Minimal approach and hyped up the color intensity as did many of the other 60s artists relatively new to art making.

Kresge Art Museum | Michigan State University